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I recently had the opportunity to participate in hands-on beginner-level Krav Maga training, coupled with an Active Shooter Response Seminar. With the escalation in civilian attacks on unsuspecting targets that we all hear about in the daily news, this kind of training can be extremely valuable to anyone.
Krav Maga, a simple, effective self-defense system developed by the Israeli military, emphasizes instinctive movements, practical techniques and realistic training scenarios. These natural movements are quick and easy to learn, as well as easily remembered.
The full-day training course was hosted by Endeavor ATA Martial Arts in Pontiac, Illinois. Rick Whitehead, our instructor, is a retired law enforcement officer and 8th degree black belt Chief Master Instructor with the American Taekwondo Association. His experience and credentials are too lengthy to list here.
Class participants ranged from teenagers to senior citizens. We began by learning how to fend off an attack. The purpose was not to perpetuate a fight but rather gain the opportunity to escape and allow trained law enforcement to intervene. We learned several techniques, from punches, palm strikes and hammer strikes to elbow strikes and leg work.
We progressed to wresting a hand gun from an assailant. Prior to this training, I would never have been bold enough to attempt this; but today, don't try me. Another exercise was to turn an assailant’s knife on him. This was more intimidating for me, as knives can inflict a wider range of injury. You may be cut, but you can learn to prevail in such a situation and come out of it alive.
Our second training session focused on active shooter response. In today’s world, the threat is real and could happen to any of us, anywhere at any time. How would you respond? It's not enough to watch a video or read a manual. You need to experience simulated drills to instill real-life responses to what is happening around you.
Our instructor used a dry-fire weapon to simulate some very realistic scenarios. The first exercise started with spontaneous shooting, and our general reaction was disorganized and chaotic. We surmised that many of us would not be alive had it been a real incident. But with each subsequent exercise, we gained experience and increased confidence that we could maintain conscious awareness of the situation and make smart decisions to save the lives of ourselves and others.
Throughout the course of your day, isn’t the end game that you and your loved ones return home safely? I encourage you to seek out self-defense training opportunities in your community. You will emerge with confidence, an increased awareness of your surroundings and an edge that most people simply do not have.
To find a training course in your area, go to Go2Firearmsafety.com.
Kim Brown is an Administrative Assistant with Pinnacle
Actuarial Resources in the Bloomington, Illinois office. She is a
certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and is actively pursuing additional
Microsoft certifications. Kim is also an apiarist (beekeeper) and is currently
beginning IPO (Schutzhund)
training with her German Shepherd puppy.
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